This appeared in The Wire on 28 January 2020. Here is the article. I wrote this mainly in response to the Indian government’s gradual and timid abandonment of the universal health care goal for its people, with the latest setback being the plans to hand over our country’s civil hospitals to private agencies. “Immediately after… Continue reading Why India’s founders championed a well-funded government-led healthcare system
Recently the Maharashtra state govt hiked the user charges and fees in government hospitals. In a country where more than 60 million persons are pushed below the poverty line because of healthcare expenses and many millions more have to take huge loans, government hospitals raising their fees – while at the same time government employees… Continue reading Why Indians need to abandon the ‘Gujarat model’ style of thinking
This was published in The Better India on June 13 2017. Here is the link, and below is an extract: “Looking at the bigger picture, it is important that India does not stop here, but that we aim for prioritizing and making, at the soonest, all healthcare services (and not just generic medicines) accessible and affordable for all… Continue reading India’s efforts to make medicines affordable for citizens
This was carried by HuffPost India on Nov 28 2016. Here is the link, and below is an excerpt. “It’s because, just like with demonetisation, the nation leaves them with no other choice. We let government hospitals crumble, and force our poor to go to those, ostensibly for the “greater benefit of the nation”. Because… Continue reading Demonetisation and Public Health: Only a Welfare-Intensive Budget 2017 Can Now Help BJP Save Face
This was published in the Times of India as an op-ed, on Oct 13 2016. Here is the link. Below is an extract: “Few phrases in the public health literature capture the kind of raw agony that ‘catastrophic health expenditure’ does. I know that well, for my family is a rickshaw-walla’s family. A fractured bone… Continue reading Modi’s Mom and a Chaiwallah’s Mom: The Case for Universal Health Coverage in India
Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze are vehement advocates for universal health coverage. In their fine 2012 book An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions, they devote an entire chapter to ‘India’s Health Care Crisis’. One of the important topics they discuss is the proliferation of govt-sponsored insurance schemes (relying on private insurance companies) over the past… Continue reading ‘The Private Insurance Trap’ – Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze
[Before we delve in, perhaps it is important to clarify that most such debates are not about whether private and public health sectors are ‘good/bad’ or necessary/unnecessary. It is implied that both are essential. The debate is more regarding which one should be the ‘model’ or the dominant system in a community; and regarding which… Continue reading Is Private Health Care the Answer to the Health Problems of India’s Poor?